Ottawa - Shopping malls across the region will launch their annual Santa Claus displays in what looks to be a banner year for bringing terror, screams and pure fright to hundreds of toddlers and children alike. Area shopping malls are busy preparing their Christmas pavilions for the arrival of their Santas this weekend in preparation for the the busiest retail time of the year, November 20th to December 20th.Editor's note: Every Friday on OttawaStart, we feature a "best of" post from the-o-dot, the satircal Ottawa blog. This article originally appeared here.
With most children being unfamiliar with the concept of being placed on the lap of a large, white bearded man in a bright red suit, malls Santas are psychologically preparing themselves for the upcoming job of having hundreds, if not thousands of screaming children on their laps over the next six weeks. Many children enjoy the experience of sitting on Santa's lap and informing him what they would like for Christmas, but many are absolutely terrified at the notion of having a strange man grasp them while they have their photo taken.
"We see a lot of parents dress their kids up in their best clothes, then prop up their child on Santa's lap for the perfect photo op, but sadly, that photo usually reflects a terrified and screaming child." Carlingwood Mall Manager Kim Latham explains. "This year our Santa has some earplugs, a hip flask of gin and Tylenol to make it through the gruelling ordeal, so hopefully we won't have so many Santa's quitting this year." remarked Latham, who saw 8 different Santa's take on the job last holiday season.
Latham warns parents to prepare their child ahead of time for what many kids see as a scary experience, and advise parents of children under three to be sedated in some form or another. Santa arrives this weekend, November 20th at shopping malls across the region and will most likely be less intoxicated and more patient with visiting children during the early part of the day. "By 9pm Santa may smell somewhat sweaty, reeking of booze and have little patience for your screaming child, so we recommend coming in earlier in the day if you want the best mall Santa experience." suggested Latham.